Oslo - Photo Credit - AlexvonGutthenbach-Lindau & Free Images - Pixabay
Welcome to the thirty-ninth edition of my weekly blog where I take a closer look at the policies adopted by individual countries in their efforts to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement. Particular attention is paid to the role that Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) research and technologies are playing in the drive to meet these requirements.
Having examined the role of desalination in reducing CO2 emissions last week, I’m returning to my country-by-country analysis and this week I’m focusing on Norway.
Norway ranks seventeenth highest under Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index (EPI) and has consistently being a top 20 ranking country in this biennial index since its inception in January 2006.
Paris Agreement Targets
As part of Norway’s Paris Agreement targets, the country has agreed to reduce its GhG emissions by at least 40% of 1990 levels by 2030. This is in line with the EU’s Paris Agreement commitments. Norway was one of the first developed economies to commit to the Paris Agreement when the country made its pledge in 2016.
According to the latest electricity generation and consumption statistics published by Statistisk sentralbyrå (Statistics Norway) 94.5% of electricity produced in Norway in October 2017 was at hydro power plants with the remainder sourced from wind power (3%) and thermal power (2.5%) respectively. The October position was very much in line with 2016 electricity production data. Net consumption of electricity data for October 2017 also revealed that over 63% of the electricity used was in areas outside of the extraction of oil and gas or power-intensive manufacturing.
As part of Norway’s Transport Plan for 2018 – 2029, the Norwegian government set a target that all new passenger cars and light vans sold in 2025 will be zero-emission vehicles. At 215.6 per 10,000 inhabitants, Norway has the highest number of electric cars per capita in the World in 2016, this represents 29% of the total electric car market.
Full Chain CCS Project
Gassnova is Norway’s state body responsible for the development of carbon capture and storage technologies. It is overseeing the implementation of a full-scale CCS project by 2022 that will store up to 1.5 Mtpa (metric tons per annum) of CO2 in an onshore site in the Smeaheia area of Norway, South of Stavanger. Upon its completion, the site will be able to accept CO2 from other European countries as well as further afield.
In 2016, Gassnova undertook feasibility studies for the capture and storage of CO2 with companies across three areas: ammonia production (Yara International), cement production (Norcem), and waste-to-energy (Fortum Oslo Varme).
In October 2017, Statoil, Shell, and Total signed a CO2 storage partnership agreement. The tree oil companies will help mature the development of carbon storage at the Smeaheia site.
Yara International is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and is world’s largest supplier of plant nutrients. Carbon capture helps Yara International produce close to emissions-free fertiliser.
Norcem is a subsidiary of Heidlebergcement and manufacturers cement at its facilities in Brevik and Kjøpsvik. Norcem’s goal is to produce CO2 neutral cement by 2030. Using flue gas, the company tested four different CCUS technologies as part of its efforts to achieve this goal.
Fortum Oslo Varme
Fortum Oslo Varme is jointly owned by Finnish Utility Fortum Oy and the City of Oslo. It has a waste-to-energy plant at Klemetsrud, 12km South of Oslo city centre. The flue gas produced there is similar to that of flue gases at coal-fired plants. Fortum Oslo Varme is able to capture about 90% of the CO2 produced in flue gases. About 60% of CO2 emitted originated from biological sources such as wood, meaning production from the Klemetsrud’s facility is CO2 negative.
For a country known for its oil industry, Norway is a clean tech and electric car leader. The government’s goal that all cars and lights vans be emission-free by 2025 seems like a realistic one when you consider the progress made to date.
The implementation of a full-scale CCS project by 2022 means that this innovative Nordic country can profit from the CO2 emissions of other European countries for years to come.
Next week’s blog will profile the ‘clean 15’ and their efforts to meet their CO2 emissions reduction targets.
If you liked this article you might enjoy reading some recent articles in the series:
Week 38 Desalination: water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink
Week 37 Switzerland: powering cars with carbon negative biofuel
Week 36 Croatia: using enhanced oil recovery to move towards a cleaner economy